Carnegie Mellon University
August 03, 2017

Research Group Including CMU's Diana Parno Finds Physics Fingerprint for Neutrinos

By Jocelyn Duffy

The COHERENT Experiment at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) has detected and measured the coherent elastic scattering of neutrinos off of nuclei – a process that is predicted by the Standard Model of physics, but had never before been seen.

Their findings, published in Science, provide scientists with a fingerprint for neutrino-nucleus reactions that will help them better understand neutrinos and the dynamics of neutron star formation and supernovae explosions. It could also provide a limiting factor for future experimental dark matter searches.

Diana Parno, assistant research professor in the Department of Physics, is a member of the COHERENT collaboration. She worked on the team that developed the simulation program that calculates the number of neutrinos that pass through the SNS’s detectors.

More than 80 researchers from 19 institutions contributed to this study. Parno worked on the project during her time as a research assistant professor at the University of Washington. She plans to continue working on the project while at Carnegie Mellon. 

Read more about the COHERENT findings.

Photo: The Spallation Neutron Source, a US Department of Energy user facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.